If you’ve gone to the effort of planning an online or even offline event, then you’re going to want the result to be a fantastic experience for everyone involved.
It may seem obvious, but by breaking the planning into into pre-, during and post- event, you’ll be better able to plan holistically, delivering exceptional value to your client, company or key stakeholders.
During the pre-event period, you’ll want to generate a buzz of excitement. Be sure to think about who you want to attend and why. It’s important to consider because it’s a defining part of your communication strategy.
Is your target audience more likely to be on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook? Will they be interested in long-form content or bold visuals? Do you have budget set aside for paid media support? If so, do you have the information to properly target them?
Plan the narrative of your communication so that there is a story which leads up to the day of the event. It’s a much better experience for an individual to be part of a story than to simply turn up on the day. Think back to the London 2012 Olympics and how everyone was so involved because we were all part of the same story, culminating in what was a hugely successful worldwide event.
Your main considerations will be around those who can attend. There will be many more who can’t but will still want to be kept up-to-date. While they’ll be able to engage with all your posts during the pre-event phase, why not consider creating a Facebook Event that they can join, then you have the option of retargeting those who won’t be present on the day.
During the event, consider both those at the event and those not attending. How will you get those at the event to share the positive experiences they’re having to their wider network? This is key to making sure that those who chose not to come, reconsider their choice for your next event. It also provides great evidence for you to go back to sponsors and prove that they made a wise partnership choice.
And for those following on social media, how will you give them enough insight into what’s going on, without devaluing the benefit of being their in person?
If your event is one of the few times you have contact with key stakeholders, then consider how you’ll maximise that opportunity on a personal and professional level.
Finally, post-event, what will you do to ensure there’s a long-tail of conversation? Keep the buzz going by playing back to your audience all the exciting things that took place. This is also a great time to re-target those who joined your Facebook Event. They’ve basically told you that they wanted to be at the event and would like to know more.
If this is a regular event for you and your client, then why not even share details, a sign-up link or a ‘register your interest’ page? What better time than when everyone is still on cloud nine after its resounding success.
You will have also captured a wealth of content from the day itself. Make sure you consider how you share this content alongside your usual activity. Review your posting plans and look at how work content can be repurposed into different, thumb-stopping posts.
As with any event, there’ll be myriad more details to consider, but if you spend time on the key principles, it should all fall neatly into place, with success for all.